Knock Hill promontory camp
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1006540
Date first listed: 15-May-1946
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)
National Park: NORTHUMBERLAND
National Grid Reference: NT 99203 16466
Promontory fort, 1.84km NNE of Chesters.
Reasons for Designation
Promontory forts are a type of hillfort in which conspicuous naturally defended sites are adapted as enclosures by the construction of one or more earth or stone ramparts placed across the neck of a spur in order to divide it from the surrounding land. Coastal situations, using headlands defined by steep natural cliffs, are common while inland similar topographic settings defined by natural cliffs are also used. The ramparts and accompanying ditches formed the main artificial defence, but timber palisades may have been erected along the cliff edges. Access to the interior was generally provided by an entrance through the ramparts. The interior of the fort was used intensively for settlement and related activities, and evidence for timber- and stone- walled round houses can be expected, together with the remains of buildings used for storage and enclosures for animals. Promontory forts are generally Iron Age in date, most having been constructed and used between the sixth century BC and the mid-first century AD. They are broadly contemporary with other types of hillfort. They are regarded as settlements of high status, probably occupied on a permanent basis, and recent interpretations suggest that their construction and choice of location had as much to do with display as defence. Promontory forts are rare nationally with less than 100 recorded examples. In view of their rarity and their importance in the understanding of the nature of social organisation in the later prehistoric period, all examples with surviving archaeological remains are considered nationally important.
The promontory fort 1.84km NNE of Chesters is a good example of a rare monument type. Its value is greatly increased by its location within a landscape densely populated with the remains of prehistoric settlement with the prehistoric settlement of Hartside Hill lying to the south west and that of Ingram Farm to the south east. The monument will contain archaeological deposits relating to its construction, use and abandonment and environmental deposits relating to the use of the surrounding landscape.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 16 May 2016. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
The monument includes an Iron Age promontory fort, situated at the southern extremity of Knock Hill on a south east facing spur overlooking the valleys of the River Breamish to the south and east and Greenside Hill Burn to the west. There are steep slopes on the east, south and west sides of the fort and the ground rises gradually to the north. The enclosure is approximately 30m north west-south east and 20m north east-south west enclosing an area of 0.1ha. and is enclosed by a predominantly earthern rampart with a maximum height of roughly 1.2m and width of 8m. There is a single rampart around the enclosure where the ground drops away sharply. On the north side, where the ground is more level, there are two larger ramparts with associated ditches. The entrance is on the north east side and is approached by a ramp spanning a natural gulley. The interior of the fort is divided into three compartments by low walls and scarping and contains the remains of at least one hut circle.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: ND 177
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
PastScape Monument No:- 1033853
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing